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Best Cities to Retire for March Madness Fans

Ben Hanowell
By Ben HanowellMarch 16, 2017

Big college basketball fan? Deciding where you want to retire? We rank the best cities to retire for college basketball fans looking for affordable, highly rated senior housing and care. Affordability data comes from our Senior Living Cost Index. Senior housing and care ratings come from SeniorAdvisor.com.

About thirty-five percent of NCAA basketball fans are Baby Boomers, according to Scarborough Sports Marketing. By 2019, Baby Boomers will make up over half the US population age 65 and older, according to the US Census Bureau. If you’re a big enough fan, you’d probably like to know the best cities for affordable, highly rated senior living plus close proximity to Division I basketball.

We’re here to help.

City Rankings for Senior Housing and March Madness

We ranked hundreds of metro areas based on senior housing affordability, senior housing customer ratings and proximity to Division I basketball. Here’s how the top 10 cities stack up.


(Edit: In an example of eating our own dog food, this author filled out his March Madness bracket solely on the basis of these rankings)

Louisville, KY

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $3,490
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 4.5
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: 4 opening; 5 regional; 6 Final Four
  • Notable College Basketball Team: Louisville Cardinals

Lexington, KY

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $3,475
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 4.0
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: 10 opening; 11 regional; 1 Final Four
  • Notable College Basketball Team: Kentucky Wildcats

Lawrence, KS

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $3,550
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 4.75
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: 2 opening; 6 regional
  • Notable College Basketball Team: Kansas Jayhawks

Salt Lake City, UT

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $3,741
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 4.5
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: 15 opening; 3 regional; 1 Final Four
  • Notable College Basketball Team: Utah Utes

Tucson, AZ

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $3,412
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 4.0
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: 10 opening; 2 regional
  • Notable College Basketball Team: Arizona Wildcats

Raleigh, NC

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $4,074
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 4.0
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: 9 opening; 7 regional
  • Notable College Basketball Team: North Carolina State Wolfpack

Bloomington, IN

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $3,142
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 3.25
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: 2 opening; 1 regional
  • Notable College Basketball Team: Indiana Hoosiers

Gainesville, FL

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $3,164
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 4.25
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: None
  • Notable College Basketball Team: Florida Gators

Fayetteville, AR

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $3,204
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 5.0
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: None
  • Notable College Basketball Team: Arkansas Razorbacks

Columbus, OH

  • Median Monthly Senior Living Cost: $3,890
  • Median SeniorAdvisor Rating: 4.0
  • Number March Madness Games Hosted: 5 opening; 1 regional
  • Notable College Basketball Team: Ohio State Buckeyes

Methods

Senior Housing Affordability

To calculate senior housing affordability, we take the average across metro-level median first-month rent and care charge estimates for Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Memory Care from our Senior Living Cost Index. Then we take the percentile rank of the negated average cost as a measure of affordability relative to other metro areas.

Senior Housing Ratings

To measure senior housing ratings by metro area, we first take the median overall SeniorAdvisor.com star rating for each senior living community, as well as the number of reviews. Then, for each metro area, we take the median of the community-level score and number of reviews. Finally, we take the percentile rankings of both measures.

College Basketball Tournament Venues

We compiled the full history of NCAA Division I tournament venues. For each metro area, we calculated the share of opening, regional, and final four games hosted there. These calculations include future venues.

Local College Basketball Team Performance

We compiled the full history of each Men’s Division I basketball teams’ most recent bid, tournament game win, sweet 16 game, elite eight game, final four game, championship game, and championship title. For each metro area and metric, we took the median number of years since the most recent game. Then we took the percentile rank of each measure.

City Rankings

To score cities, we took the average across the percentile ranks described above.

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Ben Hanowell
Author
Ben Hanowell
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